Johannes Bauer, SMU, fruit flies, organic diet

Outside magazine writer Adam Roy has covered research carried out in the fruit fly lab of SMU biologist Johannes H. Bauer by Plano, Texas, high school student Ria Chhabra in its March 27, 2013, article “Eating organic helps flies live longer.”

Bauer, an assistant professor in SMU’s Department of Biological Sciences, mentored Chhabra in her research to examine whether there would be health differences to fruit flies fed an organic diet or a nonorganic diet. Chhabra’s study found that flies fed an organic diet fared better on important health tests, particularly fertility and longevity.

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By Adam Roy
Outside Online

Eating organic food may help you live longer—if you’re a fly, that is. A group of researchers from Southern Methodist University offered fruit flies extracts of different varieties of organic and conventional produce purchased at the same Whole Foods in Texas. They found that flies who fed on organic potatoes, raisins and soy enjoyed a significantly longer lifespan and were more fertile.

The new report follows a study published by Stanford researchers last year which found that organic produce wasn’t significantly more nutritious than conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables, provoking a debate on the merits of chemical-free food. While the new study’s authors stop short of saying that the results are as applicable to humans as to flies, they do suggest that other animals could reap some of the same health benefits.

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